Water quality: Should it be a factor determining property purchase?


Apartments and Villa communities advertise a horde of amenities. While we are concerned about the gym, parks and quality of construction, we pay scant heed to the quality of water in the property. What we do not realize is that the water that we get at the twist of the tap may no longer be safe for consumption. To make it potable, it is mandatory to treat it for impurities such as bacteria, virus, protozoa, cysts, pesticides, lead, VOCs and heavy metals. In the absence of information about the nature of the impurities and its treatment, people often adopt the most popular and widely accepted remedies available in the market, along with other age-old practices that make the water pure and safe to drink. However, water treatment is like any other treatment, you must first know what is wrong with your drinking water before you start treating it.

It is important that bore well water be tested for salts, iron and bacterial content before being used for washing, bathing or drinking purposes, especially considering that groundwater contamination is rampant these days. There are numerous water testing laboratories in cities, and the experts advise that the water be tested before being used.  Apart from regular measures like boiling water to kill the germs in it and filtering it through candles, bore well water should ideally be given the Reverse Osmosis (RO) treatment and/or UV treatment.

For water that does not need to be consumed, chlorination is a good way to ensure the removal of bacterial content. Chlorination should be done on a regular basis. Since chlorine is a dangerous chemical, only professionals should be employed for chlorinating the water. If bore well water is being used by the apartments in your building, every apartment should have a water purifier installed for further filtration and purification of the water for consumption purposes. You could also hire the services of water purifying agencies to install sufficient filtration and purification processes in your apartment society for treating the bore well water.

Unlike municipal water which is generally subject to regular testing, very few regulations exist to govern private wells and bore well water supplies. The onus therefore, lies on the user to check the pH and conduct regular testing for microorganisms, pesticides, nitrates and other contaminants. Water quality is an important measure to be analyzed in bore wells. Government water supply and geological departments have such laboratories in every district and city.

Even though the water may not have a bad taste or smell, it can still be contaminated with dangerous chemicals and germs. Some harmful chemical contaminants like heavy metals and nitrates can be the cause of long term health problems, especially for infants, children and the elderly. Keeping the water in your building under check, and cleaning the tanks and sump periodically, will save you from those medical bills.

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